The Empath and Dealing with an Emotionally Dissociated Hero in Recovery

Hi Everyone,

I had a question today from an Empath who is married to an Emotionally Dissociated Hero.  They have both been hard at work dealing with old wounds and traumas that have led her to have poor boundaries in the past and have led him to dissociate and push away his feelings.  However, as the Hero becomes in touch with his old repressed feelings, all that old emotional energy has bubbled up, as is very common when we work through old trauma.  The Empath has had a hard time dealing with her husband’s vibration, even though they are both conscious of what is happening.  Not only is she picking up on his emotional state, it is also making her physically ill.  Her question is around how to deal effectively as a partner with his healing without becoming sick herself.  The key here is to use tools on the Mythic and Energetic Planes to move the healing along instead of work just at the mental-emotional (Symbolic Plane) so that neither one become sick at the Literal plane (physical body) Please follow the comments if you are interested.

much love,


This entry was posted in Boundaries, Emotional Dissociation, Emotions, Empathy, Energy Healing, Life Transition, Relationships, Soul Retrieval. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Empath and Dealing with an Emotionally Dissociated Hero in Recovery

  1. Elaine says:

    Hello Everyone, Here is Dawn’s post:

    Hi Elaine. I am an empath and my husband is a dissociated hero. I very much relate to your article on the dissociated hero except that my husband is in successful recovery now and is learning to process his unworthiness and self-hatred finally. He very much wants to heal his inability to be authentic and is now out of denial and is in touch with the anger at his narcissistic father for abusing him and sees how he was the scapegoat and absorbed all of the pain of his family members. We have been married 29 years–I just discovered that I was feeling his feelings for him in the last few years and as an empath with strong boundaries now I have been helping him to learn to know when he is dissociating his feelings. When he is not at his stress-ful high tech job he is writing in his journal, reading self-help books, and facing the truth of how he had to numb his feelings out to survive as a child because he took on all the pain of his entire family. I have been happily helping him and we both feel relief when he has faced and released a new layer of dormant feeling, either rage at his father or his mother who made him believe that he would go to purgatory if he had sinful thoughts and so he felt himself to be evil on some level. We have both felt great progress lately as he has faced where his self-hatred comes from and he has love and compassion for himself after releasing these horrible childhood traumas. But something has us stuck. I am experiencing urinary frequency symptoms every time he is anxious and not feeling it and because he is so “pissed off now” and still dissociated from it at times so I feel it. For about a week I helped him each evening but now I am worn out and a full-fledged
    bladder infection has set in. Holidays are the worst times for his post traumatic stress and this memorial day weekend his traumas seem to be coming to a head. It has been 24 hours on antibiotics for a bladder infection and I feel it is getting worse instead of better. Because we have a longer weekend the feelings are intense and it will not doubt take all weekend working through this together. But I don’t want to help him anymore because I am in ill now and in pain. I need for him to shine his light and get rid of the negative energy that he is bringing into the house or leave the house because I need to heal. I feel he is doing the best he can but I am feeling his anxiety and anger while he is asleep in the middle of the night for example. His repressed feelings woke me up this morning and I had him leave the house at 6 am in frustration. The plan for today was to spend time apart–me healing and resting and him spending time with his inner child in self-discovery and recharging in nature at a local state park. I have hope that he is on his way to recovery but at times like this when I feel his feelings to the point of getting ill it is very discouraging. I feel I have good boundaries now and I have over the last 25 years now finally processed all of my own traumas and wounds so I have clarity about what are his feelings and what are mine. We have always felt very fortunate that my gifts enable us both to heal and he trusts my intuition completely–he is starting to see that his is an empath as well but just had to completely cut off from it to survive. I feel relief from my intense bladder pain as he and his negative emotions are out of the house about an hour now–sometimes I cannot disconnect from his feelings even when he is traveling out of the country so this is a relief. I feel that this whole bladder thing happened because I went with him for 2 weeks on one of his traveling trips for work and it was just too much time together and not enough time for me to recharge and have my own space here at home in my sanctuary that I have created for myself. The bladder infection happened right after we arrived home from our long day of flights to get home. My question is is it possible that he is almost over the hump and that things are coming to a head in a good way.? I tell him that he needs to be responsible for the energy he is bringing into the house or leave. I wonder if this is too harsh as he is very hard on himself but it seems to be working and sometimes he is a beacon of shining light and love which I can feel from him lately for the first time– I know that it is real and we are both really happy and connected at those times. Last night I had him say Louise Hay’s affirmations for bladder infections over and over and we both felt so much better–”I comfortably and easily release the old and welcome the new in my life. I am safe.” I am feeling better as I write this and I think the day apart is going to do both of us good. Any thoughts on this situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your wisdom and insights. Dawn

    • Elaine says:

      Hi Dawn,

      First, congratulations to you and your husband for being willing to work hard to do the work! Personal work is hard, and it is extremely difficult for Emotionally Dissociated Heroes to admit that there is a problem in the first place. Your husband is one of the brave souls willing to face all his inner ugly stuff so he can be his wonderful true self.

      As you know, this is no easy task. Being married to a healthy Empath that has learned not to collude with the old Hero behavior is a great advantage–you can help keep your husband real. However, the disadvantage to the Empath is that we naturally have very poor energetic boundaries. We pick up on emotional energy and we suck it up like sponges. This can make us very ill, as you are seeing with your bladder infection.

      You two are doing everything right, it sounds like. What you need are more tools in your toolboxes! To heal from a deep trauma we need to address the root cause of it. For deep traumas the damage is usually severe enough to have hit what is called the Energetic Level. I highly encourage both of you to look into Soul Retrieval and Underworld work on my website. Read some of the case studies there so you can see how the energy work works. The shaman deals with four levels of reality. First is the physical body (the literal) next is the emotional-mental body (the symbolic) which encompasses the physical body. Around that is the Mythic Level, or the Soul. Around that is the Energetic Body, or the Light Body.

      When we undergo a trauma the damage tends to be recorded in the mythic and the energetic bodies. But, most of us in the Western world try to heal it at the emotional-mental body through traditional psychotherapy or through the physical body with medicince or illnesses that can sometimes move an imbalance out. This can mean that it can take a long long long LONG time to heal, because the root is actually located somewhere else.

      What the shaman does is go to the energetic body and clear the trauma there, and then gives you homework and does ceremony for you at the Mythic Level to clear out those levels so that the Symbolic Level can clear, and then the Physical Level can clear. If you haven’t heard of this before, please explore my website, and you may want to purchase the Shamanic Energywork Ebook in the shop. If you get the Soul Retrieval work done, plus you continue to do what you are doing, you will address all four Levels of reality at once, and your recovery and your husbands will go much much faster. It still will probably be hard work, but all that releasing that he’s doing on the emotional plane won’t drive you as nuts because much of it will be taken care of during the Underworld work.

      What tends to happen with Empaths if we don’t know how to work at the Mythic level is that we get overwhelmed with the Emotional energy, and then our bodies try to process it through the physical. If we work at the mythic, we can prevent that energy that’s stuck to move there instead of through us physically. We do this by using sandpainting, altars, ceremony, especially fire ceremony. I highly encourage both of you to look more into this so you have more tools to help you.

      For right now I suggest that you both sleep with a bowl of salt water by the bed so that that emotional energy that is being released from your husbands chakras at night goes into the water, giving both of you relief. Also, your husband should do a sandpainting outside when he’s feeling overwhelmed so that his old stuff can process there instead of in your house. The ebook has instructions on how to do sandpaintings. You should build yourself a protection altar to block some of this energy coming your way. You might also ask a shaman to install bands of power on you to give you an extra skin on your aura so you aren’t as suseptible to the emotional energy coming off.

      Whenever you feel his stuff coming into your field, you should set the intention to ground it out of your system, or you can even blow it back at him so he can deal with it instead of you. If you don’t feel comfortable blowing it back at him, then flick it into a candle flame, a bowl of water, or take it outside and let nature take it from you. Your task should be to clear your field often and to label what is yours and what is his. It’s amazing what the labelling can do. You also need to consider building up your field by incorporating breathing exercises, walking, etc. so your field becomes stronger.

      Obviously it is hard to keep things separate when dealing with a spouse, but do try these tools. Most importantly it is crucial that you do not fall into blaming your husband for your physical and emotional state. It isn’t his fault that you are an Empath. He isn’t intentionally harming you. It is important to think of this as about learning skills to manage your own field. Your husband sounds like he is doing all the right things to take responsibility for his field and his stuff. Give him lots of credit for that. Learn more Mythic tools to help you, consider going to see a shaman–for him so he can have that original trauma cleared out–the shaman will also help him clear a lot of the emotional junk as well. Also, for you, if you are a Classic Empath, you probably have a lot of soul loss yourself. If you have those unwounded soul parts (consciousness) retrieved, that will also strengthen your field and make you less susceptible to being a sponge.

      Dawn, you and your husband really are doing great work! Try some of these Mythic tools–please browse my website so you can get more familiar with them–I’m sure they will help.

      much love,

  2. Dawn says:

    Hi Elaine! Thank you so much for this! It feels so good to hear you say we are doing a good job and that we just need some more tools. You did such a good job of explaining all this. I don’t know much about shaman energywork but it seems I am in exactly the right place in my life to start learning more–like it was all meant to be. I am so glad I reached out to you. I was feeling a tiny bit of resistance but then I just read your introduction to your ebook and I can’t believe you mentioned Julia Cameron as an empath (and shaman?) It was Julia Cameron’s book the Artist’s Way that was pivital in my own recovery as I embarked on morning pages for deep inner grief work starting in 2003 that literally helped me find my voice and true self and unblock my creativity and heal and begin to express my self with confidence. I have encouraged my husband to start this same free journaling and he is finding it very helpful! I am going to buy all of your ebooks and start studying them! I am still resting today and finally feeling better. Last night I got your message just in time to put a bowl of salt water by the bed and I got a great nights sleep. The day apart did us both good and we decided to do the same today and he is doing great processing on his own thank Goodness . 🙂 I haven’t been able to share all this with my husband yet but I am pretty sure he will be definitely interested in anything that will shorten the recovery time! I am so happy to hear this about it being faster and to have the mythic and energetic planes explained as what is missing in this whole healing process. I was just recently certified in Reiki level one which was all new to me and now this is a whole new way of thinking as well–but it all seems interconnected and I feel grateful to have been lead here.

    We knew traveling together for two whole weeks would be difficult–one week has been a challenge at times in the past so this feels like a big success with all the healing going on at the same time–we had a wonderful time together for the most part!!–we were joined for one week with our daughter with this trip as a gift for her for graduating from college–I felt it was stretching my limits so I understand why I got ill. And now I understand even more reasons why! I think we will be looking into seeing a shaman for the soul retrieval that you mentioned–please recommend someone who would be a good fit for our situation. Wish it could be you but I understand. I will be in touch about how it is going and I will purchase the ebooks in a few days after I am well and rested from this trip! Thank you again so much! With much gratefulness, love, and light, Dawn

    • Elaine says:

      Hi Dawn,

      So glad the information was helpful! Let me know how it goes putting some of these Mythic Tools into action. As for good shaman to work with, contact Hilda or Vanessa. Their info is on my welcome page. Both of them are fantastic shaman who have worked on me and my family. The Energywork is makes everything go so much faster. It’s still hard work doing personal work, but there is much less suffering in it, and less need for a cathartic experience if you have energywork done at the same time. We may still have those big emotional upheavals, but so much of the emotional stuff gets removed and moved during the energywork.

      I started my conscious spiritual path working through the Artist’s Way. If you haven’t looked at some of my older website pages, I was a physicist, and atheist, a blocked creative, and super miserable back in 1994 when I started doing the morning pages. From there I read Julia’s friend’s, Sonia Choquette’s books, then had a psychic awakening, and then my life really changed quickly! So yes, moving into your creativity always causes big changes for the whole family. heh.

      So glad you found the blog and it has been helpful!

  3. Dawn says:

    Hello Elaine. I thought I would tell you how it is going. 🙂 My bladder infection seemed a little better but then I noticed that the frequency was worse again when my husband was having intense feelings come up and not processing them. He is out of town and has had some major breakthroughs meanwhile I had to call in sick from work because I am not getting better and just in general feeling lousy and no energy. Today I realized that some new additional symptoms of not being able to concentrate and fatigue and anxiety are reminding me of years ago when I had candidiasis. I think the stress on vacation and not getting enough “me” time caused a flare up in my candidiasis and THAT is what is also causing the frequent urination (along with the stress of feeling my husbands repressed feelings of anxiety and anger). When I called in sick to work I felt so much better just from the stress relief. So now I am stopping the antibiotic which makes candidiasis worse–I knew this so I have been taking lots of probiotics from the beginning but that explains why it is not better. I really thought I had beaten candidiasis once and for all and really just forgot about it causing bladder infection symptoms. I know I need to just rest, reduce stress, and eat only low-carb foods and no sugar –I eat like this most of the time anyway so I am hopeful I will get better now faster. My husband read all of this post and our comments and he is so happy that you support what is going on with him and between us–most others would think it is nuts or unhealthy–and that you have given us some new tools to try. Do you think my husband should schedule an individual session with the shaman for himself or should we have a session together or one of each? OMG I just realized that my candidiasis went away when my husband started traveling 6 years ago and I felt freed up at home and started being more creative and writing etc…. And this was the first time in years we spent 2 weeks together traveling and it was hard to eat a healthy diet in Montreal with all that good french food… I am staying positive that I can beat this candidiasis again like I did before. Any thoughts?

  4. Elaine says:

    Hi Dawn,

    I’m so sorry that you’re struggling with the candida! It sounds like you know how to get your system back in balance with the probiotics and avoiding any starches and sugars. Empaths have very sensitive bodies that can tip out of balance easily, but you know that.

    From a different perspective, having your body out of balance sometimes means that your emotional-mental body is out of balance. We can assume that part of that is coming from the interaction with your husband. The extra emotional energy that you are soaking up from him is throwing you out of balance and that is coming down all the way to the physical/literal level.

    So, it’d be nice to get to the root cause of the emotional imbalance. So, what I would recommend is that each of you go to a shaman separately, but you discuss the interaction between you. Each of you has separate wounds that are exacerbating what is happening between you. For your husband, it seems pretty clear that he has anger issues and he knows where these come from. He understands this on the mental-emotional level, but to clear it out he needs to work at the mythic and have the shaman help him at the energetic. That is his job–I think he’ll find so much relief if he does this work.

    For you, you probably have the typical Empath wounds that lead to us being emotional and psychic garbage pails, soaking up anything unwanted from our loved ones (and the general populace) that comes our way. You need to go and have those unconscious contracts and beliefs unravelled. The shaman will help you do that. Empaths do not need to be psychic garbage pails. We don’t have to be sponges. It is possible to develop skills and tools so we don’t become sick and overwhelmed while still remaining intuitive. Yes, we’re going to need more self-care than most people, but we don’t have to suffer like you are suffering.

    The last thing is that there is probably some karmic contract or agreement between you and your husband that both of you need to unravel, or else he wouldn’t have such a direct connection into your field to dump garbage. That’s important to mull over, too. You don’t have to think about it too much–you can use collage, drawing, sandpainting, etc, to see what the contract is. You can also take this to your shaman and the shaman will track for it as well. Then it becomes a task of breaking the contract energetically and then also changing your behavior.

    The important point is that BOTH of you have separate issues that are creating this interaction and situation. You EACH have to work your part in it to see significant change quickly. If you both work at it, I’m confident that this interaction between you will get much much better. But do realize that you have been married for almost 30 years, so there’s a lot of habits in there to overcome.

    Sounds like you need to always eat well, you need to have consistent creative outlets in your life, and that travel is hard on you. Travel can be hard on Empaths who tend to soak everyone’s stuff up on planes and trains. Take these into account, do your work so you don’t have to be a sponge, and I think you’ll be suffering a lot less on the physical plane. If your husband does his work, too, I think you’ll both be shocked at how free you both will feel. Let me know how it goes!

    much love,

  5. Dawn says:

    Hi Elaine,

    I have news!–First of all, I am feeling much better now that I am on the candida diet-I am going to try to stay on it for an entire month–one moon cycle. Stress was a a big part of the reason for my candidiasis relapse and the uti–and part of that stress was not being able to get enough time alone to recharge from my husband’s emotions. I highly recommend that women with uti symptoms try taking a natural supplement called dMannose before you cave in and take an antibiotic–it is derived from cranberry and the worst of my symptoms were completely gone within 24 hours of taking it and I felt a lot of relief in the first 2 hours. You can find it at health food stores and compounding pharmacies that make bioidentical hormones– my compounding pharmacist told me about it–thank goodness!.

    I want to explain that I have very healthy boundaries as an empath when traveling now– I rarely pick up the feelings of others in crowded areas anymore and the planes, buses, and the metro system we were on did not bother me–when I need to I visualize my self surrounded by mirrors reflecting negativity outward and visualize the negative energy going away from me. I am able to recharge with love and bliss from heaven above and Mother earth below and even feel a direct connection to the Source of Love (God) from inside my heart and can access it any time. I blow the feelings away back where they came from and also say to myself, “These are not my feelings, I am going to let them go” and then I do and it works. Except with my husband. I agree–I think we had a contract…

    Now to tell you the best news!–my husband had a session with the shaman last saturday and came out of the session all smiles, giddy, and I could feel the energy shift that took place! The heavy, dark energy and hopelessness was wisked away by the shaman and we both felt the relief. He also told me that all contracts were off and I felt that as well. This was a spiritual awakening for him and I am so grateful for him to have had an experience so profound that he is now even more of a believer in the healing power of the spirit of Love (God is Love) than before! I myself have already had several spiritual awakenings so my own session with the shaman was less remarkable in that nothing was really revealed to me that I didn’t already know–but that in itself was highly validating for me!!–most of the images revealed to the shaman were images I had gotten in touch with in my creative journaling and inner grief work so this validated that I on the right path as a healer and that I can trust my intuition and creative path and true purpose as a Life Coach for highly sensitive people doing the inner child healing that I had previously discovered on my own. I believe the work that I am doing for HSPs is helping them heal their faulty core beliefs at a very deep and even possibly at an energetic level. However if I ever get clients who are highly dissociated and I feel this heavy dark energy I am going to refer them to Hilda, the shaman we went to! Another thing I learned is that I need to make more time for my singing and songwriting which I already knew as well but the validation that my session brought was powerful and the session ended up being very comforting and supportive. Thank you, Elaine for your wise and encouraging words and comforting ways and for leading us to the shaman that helped my husband, and validated, and supported that I am on the spiritual path that I am meant to be on!!! With Love and Light, Dawn

    • Elaine says:

      Hi Dawn,

      I am so glad that you and your husband each had a session with Hilda! And that both of them went so well and that you are already seeing results. Hurray! Great work!!! It sounds like you’ve both done a lot of work already and that clearing up those contracts on the energetic and the mythic levels was part of the last pieces. It’s wonderful when the work works magically like that. For many couples there’s little bumps along the road after the shamanic work because the habits have been so long ingrained, so don’t be discouraged if those come up, especially at first. But it sounds like you’ve already done so much work that that might not happen, hurray! Good work Dawn! I’m glad I could be of service. xoxoxo Elaine

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